What am I doing with this blog?

I came to this website today to find one of my favorite recipes: Orange Zucchini Bread,  This is probably one of the best Zucchini breads I’ve ever made and I’m so glad I saved the recipe here because I’m not sure exactly how I found it in the first place.  As I was navigating the site (which I need to make easier to navigate) I became really sad as I realized the mindset I was in when I started compiling these menus and recipes.

I was desperately trying to lose weight because I was told my weight was causing me to lose my vision.  There’s an actual diagnosis for what was going on, which I won’t put here.  So I invested a lot of money in a weight loss company and experienced some great results and I created this website to track my recipes, document my favorite modifications and versions, etc.  I want to clarify I’m not much of a real cook and I certainly don’t create my own recipes – I just wanted to place to store my ideas so I could come back to them again.

Several years later I’m at a way different place in my life.  I’ve learned all about the pitfalls and manipulation in diet culture.  I’m learning to love who I am and strive for health, not some unattainable number on the scale.  I’ve learned that the reason popular weight loss companies thrive is because THEY DON’T WORK – and they have repeat customers.  They have a lot of job security in a society driven by body insecurity.

I think there have been some great strides to improve body image and acceptance in recent years, but we have a long ways to go.  For me – this means starting with me.  I’m going to work to totally revamp and change my website to remove all suggestion of any diet plan.  Let’s face it – some of these recipes suck!  I’m going to delete the crummy ones.  Finally – I’m going to start sharing things that I find, learn from, and enjoy about body positivity and delicious things to eat.  Eventually I’ll connect this to my social media and put it all together in a diet-free, body positive package.

But first – I need to make some Orange Zuchhini Bread.  I can’t wait to enjoy it!

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November 15-21

Monday, November 16 – Chicken Enchiladas, Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Tuesday, November 17 – Fettuccine Alfredo, Grilled Chicken and Broccoli

Wednesday, November 18 – Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Chili, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Friday, November 20 – Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken with cauliflower rice

Saturday, November 21 – Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Extra – I need to make a GF Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (w/ half the sugar) on Saturday!

Planning ahead:

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/artichoke—spinach-enchiladas

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2015/11/hearty-vegetarian-pumpkin-chili_11.html

November 9-14

Monday, November 9 – Shrimp and Asparagus Pesto Tortellini

Wednesday, November 11 – Taco Bravos

Thursday, November 12 – Pork Chops and Steamed Brocolli, Mashed Potatoes

Friday, November 13 – Dry Poached Chicken, Steamed Green Beans, Roasted Sweet Potatoes (HALF)

Saturday, November 14 – Take Out PIZZA!

Monday, November 16 – http://www.skinnytaste.com/2010/02/chicken-enchiladas.html?m=1

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/10/cilantro-lime-cauliflower-rice.html

November 1-7

Tuesday – Blissful Butternut Squash Soup (already cooked)
Paninis: Cheese – havarti and horseradish sharp cheddar, Deli meat – rotisseried turkey, Fresh Bread

Thursday – Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese (scale recipe for leftover spaghetti squash)
Pan-cooked Chicken (pre-seasoned from the grocery store)
Steamed Green Beans

Friday – Manwich on Kings Hawaiian Rolls
Roasted Potato Wedges
Steamed Brocolli

Roasted Seasoned Winter Squash Medley

Roasted Seasoned Winter Squash Medley
adapted from: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2015/10/roasted-seasoned-winter-squash-medley.html

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
2 lbs mixed winter squash (butternut, kabocha, etc.), peeled and cut into 3/4 –inch cubes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and brown sugar.
In a large mixing bowl, toss squash with butter and olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture to the bowl and toss well to coat. Place squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment and bake for 40-45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, to allow for even browning. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons more of spice mixture. Toss gently to coat and serve hot.

Tips:
The first 5 ingredients would be an excellent spice mix for other items such as pork chops, sweet potatoes, soups and stews.  I eliminated the salt from the original recipe – but if you feel like the mix needs it, add 1/2 tsp. kosher salt.

October 25-31, 2015 – What’s cooking?

Monday 10/26Spaghetti Squash Lasagna (add ground beef) with Garlic Bread
(Prep: make the entire recipe ahead of time)

Tuesday 10/27Dry Poached Chicken
Roasted Seasoned Winter Squash Medley
Steamed Green Beans
(Prep: chop squash, thaw chicken)

Thursday 10/29 – Steak Fajitas (with tortillas, cheddar cheese and sour cream)
(Prep: slice steak strips, slice two green peppers and one onions)

Friday 10/30Shrimp Stir-Fry with Broccoli
(Prep: chop broccoli, red onion, and carrots)

Saturday  10/31 – Happy Halloween!  Dinner with friends – I think I’ll bring Caramel Apple Cheesecake!

Pork Chops with Dijon Cream

Adapted from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pork-chops-with-dijon-cream-sauce

Ingredients
2 (4-6 ounce) boneless center-cut pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
Cooking spray
1/3 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup fat-free half-and-half or fat-free evaporated milk

Preparation
Trim fat from chops. Sprinkle both sides of chops evenly with salt and pepper. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add chops to skillet, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chops from skillet, and keep warm.
Add broth to skillet, stirring to loosen browned bits. Combine mustard and half-and-half; add to skillet. Reduce heat, and simmer 7 minutes or until sauce is thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over chops.